OK, look – I like souvenirs and tourist stuff as much as anyone, but . . . wow – there is a lot of Camino swag out there! Besides the shell and possibly a walking stick, most of this stuff seems pretty over the top, of course. Although I have little desire for bumper stickers, coasters, or bottle openers, I must to admit to wanting just a little Camino “bling.”
When I first started looking into the Way, I found a Camino rosary that I liked – mostly because the crucifix was made from a St. James cross and the center was a shell. When I later went to my Pinterest page (don’t judge) to migrate its contents to an Amazon wish list, I realized the rosary pin had a broken link. So I asked the internet about Camino rosaries and found some interesting items.
Catholic Company had a rosary that was close to my original find:
Then there was this smaller rosary decade with shell beads from the prolific Etsy seller, Spirit of the Camino:
As I looked at these and other products, it occurred to me that the main pieces all seemed to be very similar. (Given the small range of available Camino symbols, this was not a huge surprise.) In fact it seemed that nearly all of the Camino rosaries I found were made of the same primary parts:
As it turned out, you can buy those parts separately for about $5. So if you had those pieces plus beads, chain links, tools, know-how, and about half a day to make one, you could save about $20!
(I, personally, have zero of those things.)
Anyway, I also realized that it was only the primary pieces that I really liked – and I wanted them for something I could hang / wear during the walk. Although a rosary would be nice, it would likely end up in a pocket most of the the trip.
So now I am thinking about maybe making some kind of paracord band that includes these pieces. I don’t know how to do that either, but it would be cheaper, tougher, more personal, and something I could wear throughout the trip.
Maybe after my Camino I’ll have the parts made into a rosary that will be more meaningful to me. By then it might even be a relic!